I have to admit I have been working on this handsome boy for about a week now. Slow progress as I have had to reference bits from other photographs as my client wanted the head collar off and bridle on. It is also a larger portrait for me at 18×14 inches. My client gave me a whole host of photos to work from and this is the one he chose. I have removed the purple head collar from the painting.

As you can see this is going to be quite a tricky venture, but I do love a challenge. The trickiest bits will be working out where the reins go and the revealing the bit. Luckily my client has a few photos to help with this so it shouldn’t be too hard

I started with the easy bits of Pugsley’s portrait. While I have been working on him I was mulling over what I should do for the background. I decided while I was working on him that a blue, sky like background would look good, like it did for Ronan’s portrait.

Here are a few stage by stage photos of his portrait. Annoyingly I had a few of the earlier stages, but unfortunately I seem to have lost or deleted them.

The two photos of his portrait progress below is a whole 10 hours work between the first one and the second one! A lot of layers and detail and it is a rather large piece too!

I have added a couple of close up shots of the the soft velvet nose and the eye for you.I love horses noses, they are so soft and lovely to stroke! And look at his beautiful eyelashes! 

I have been adjusting the neck strap and reins all day, it’s been bugging me and I just can’t get them to quite look or sit right for the portrait! I decided in the end to call upon some of my equestrian friend to help me which has been amazing. I had lots of slightly different suggestions and thoughts, so it was a case of looking at it and seeing what also worked best with the portrait.

Below you can see Pugsley’s painting before I had changed much, such as he neck strap and cheek strap on the right as you look at him.

So after much thought and chat with a some lovely equestrian friends I ended up making about four changes to Pugsley’s bridle. The cheek stap on the right as you look at Pugsley I have brought in tighter so it isn’t poking out. 

It was decided with my client that the neck strap was ugly and brought nothing to the portrait, but looked awkward so we agreed to remove that, but we kept the reins in, just dropped the loop lower. The last thing to be changed was the nose band. It needed to wrap around his nose more. 

I think you can see it looks much better with these bits removed compared to the reference photo. I am really pleased with how his pet portrait has turned out. 

I scanned him in to show my client the adjustments to the portrait and he is very pleased with them. The one thing that needed tweaking is his mane. I think I got so caught up working out the bridle and reins I didn’t really finish his mane properly! 

I have done some work on it tonight and I will finish it tomorrow. But for now here is the scan of his portrait as it was left today. See what you think of the bridle amendments. 

Scan of a piebald horse portrait in pastels with a blue background

So this morning I was up nice and early and I started work on Puglsey’s mane. I can see what my client meant with the mane, not sure if you can spot the difference between the two horse portraits, the adjusted one is below.

My client was much happier with this one and felt it really captured his cheeky, scruffy personality, and that is what my service is all about! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have an enquiry about commissioning your own pet portrait, and don’t forget you can view my other horse portraits here.

Pugsley’s Dad was delighted with the portrait. Whether he can wait to Christmas to give it to his partner remains to be seen, but you can read his delighted email to me here